How to Be Professional and Social at the Same Time

While I’m navigating through this program, each new social media outlet provides more insight than the last. This week studying LinkedIn might just be my most important task yet. I am at the stage in my life now where making professional connections on LinkedIn is much more important than beating the next level in Candy Crush Saga (although that game is really addicting). With these readings I learned how to complete my profile, what not to do on LinkedIn, especially being a journalist, and how to best connect with new job prospects.

Social Media Marketing said that we should all have a great headline that tells our whole story in as few words as possible. Judging by my headline, which reads “Student at University of Florida,” that’s not going to get me any good connections in social media anytime soon. I need to do a major update to my profile that highlights my past work as an editor for my undergraduate literary magazine and a contributing writer for the publication run by my journalism class. The experience and skills I learn in this master’s program will become invaluable to my future career plans if only I could remember to update my profile.

Being relatively new to LinkedIn, I don’t look at my page that often and I definitely have not updated my status. Forbes suggests that is one of the biggest mistakes I could be making. Because it is a professional network, I was afraid that employers and prospects seeing too many status updates from me would turn them off. Now I realize that providing them with links of writing samples and other work (like this blog) gives them the opportunity to see what I’m made of and give them the incentive to seek me out for a position.

I have been waiting six weeks to talk about how being a journalist has a connection to social media. I certainly didn’t think LinkedIn would be my first opportunity to do that. I spent four years at the University of Arizona learning how to be a better journalist. I can honestly say that I never once thought of LinkedIn as a place to find sources for stories. The International Journalists’ Network taught me how to be a much more savvy journalist while searching for headlines as well as jobs.

One of the hardest things for me to do not only professionally but personally is open up and let people in. Copy Blogger says that is one of the best chances you have at successfully getting a job through LinkedIn. Letting employers not only see my credentials, but my personality will put me a huge step ahead of my competition. And giving them a way to contact me, other than through LinkedIn will make them more likely to reach out. I also have trouble with this, because like in any other social network, I may not know who exactly I’m talking to. What I have to realize is that this is a professional network and it’s a rarity that someone would create a fake LinkedIn profile just to obtain personal information about me.

With these new tips I am ready to use my skills and background to my advantage and take the social media world by storm


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